Episode #12: Reasoning by First Principles with Kacy Qua

This week's episode features Kacy Qua who left school at age 13 to begin self-directed learning. After a New York City banking internship at 17, getting into an Ivy League school and earning an MBA, she joined The X Prize Foundation to help incent innovators to solve the world's biggest problems regardless of their resume qualifications. On top of all that, Kacy started an apprenticeship company and has recently completed a book called “Burn The Ladder: Essential Questions for a Purpose-Driven Career”.  


00:58 Leaving school at 13 to self-teach and be her own Boss; Self-direction and motivation as necessary skills for the future

5:57 Asking the question, “What should people learn about life and work that isn't taught in school?” and thinking about it at the X Prize Foundation through exposure to First Principles and starting at questions like “What is the point of learning?” “What is the point of education”, “What is the system supposed to accomplish?”

10:14 The most valuable thing every person should know; The competitive advantage of self-discovery and the ability to recognize skills, passions and situations in which you thrive.

12:24 The XPrize Foundation, Peter Diamandis; the Space XPrize, the Automotive XPrize and the value of competition; confirmation bias, belief as obstacle and activator; innovation as small tweaks to existing solutions

18:38 Qualifier; demonstrated skills and application

20:21 Kacy's Super Power of Reasoning through First Principles; a three-step process; shifting paradigms; AI, robotics and other technology allowing for more meaning; Success intrinsically motivated and individually defined; Asking good questions; Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos asking “But what if you're wrong?” 

26:07 Good questions for parents; supporting self-directed learning; Sugata Mitra and SOLE groups

29:47: Purpose; Ikigai; The Search for Self is social;  and that we can't be doing it alone.

32:49 Doing something powerful requires authentic connection with other people; salon discussion questions, the future of work from the perspective of First Principles; Powerful questions in business circles; authentic connection as a competitive advantage;

40:37: Kacy's new book, “Burn The Ladder: Essential Questions for a Purpose-Driven Career”

42:47 Making a difference in the world while also balancing family, relationships and kids; the crumbling of binary perspectives; the mindset shift towards valuing families, community and an authentic connection; New models of leadership and business, being in transition

46:12 Thank yous

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